Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Death Differ. 2005 Oct;12(10):1329-43.

Neuroprotection by BDNF against glutamate-induced apoptotic cell death is mediated by ERK and PI3-kinase pathways.

Author information

Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology and Department of Zoology, University of Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.


Neurotrophins protect neurons against glutamate excitotoxicity, but the signaling mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We studied the role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) and Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways in the protection of cultured hippocampal neurons from glutamate induced apoptotic cell death, characterized by nuclear condensation and activation of caspase-3-like enzymes. Pre-incubation with the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), for 24 h, reduced glutamate-evoked apoptotic morphology and caspase-3-like activity, and transiently increased the activity of the PI3-K and of the Ras/MAPK pathways. Inhibition of the PI3-K and of the Ras/MAPK signaling pathways abrogated the protective effect of BDNF against glutamate-induced neuronal death and similar effects were observed upon inhibition of protein synthesis. Moreover, incubation of hippocampal neurons with BDNF, for 24 h, increased Bcl-2 protein levels. The results indicate that the protective effect of BDNF in hippocampal neurons against glutamate toxicity is mediated by the PI3-K and the Ras/MAPK signaling pathways, and involves a long-term change in protein synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center